St.Mary's sings for unity

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 November 2004, 00:20 GMT]
"The absence of open conflict is not peace. Peace will start only when the parties have found solutions for their disagreements," said Mr. Dagfinn Aadnanes, Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in Trincomalee district speaking as the chief guest at a musical event organized by the Past Students Association of the Trincomalee St. Mary's Girls College Sunday evening at the school's Theresian Auditorium. One hundred selected students of all communities from several schools in the district participated in the musical program.

Peace event in St.Mary's Trinco
Reverend Sister M.Suneeta, Provincial Apostolic Carmel Congregation, Sri Lanka was the guest of honour. Special guests were Rev. Fr.Yogeshwaran, Superior, Jesuit House in Trincomalee, Mr.G.Sakthibavan, Manager, Trincomalee branch of the Hatton National Bank and Mr.S.Jegatheesan, Proprietor of Royal Construction, Trincomalee

Rev.Sr.Theresa Ranee, Principal, Trincomalee St.Mary's College said the past students of the college mooted this innovative idea as a challenge to unite all schools through music to understand one another.

The musical programme was organized as a tribute to Rev.Sr.Theresa Ranee for her devoted services to students as Principal of the institution for 18 years.

Peace event in St.Mary's Trinco
The selected one hundred students staged several cultural items in all three languages, Tamil, Sinhala and English, stressing the importance of strengthening the unity among all communities.

Mr Aadnanes speaking at the event said: "Your country has been at war since before you were born, and you have grown up in insecurity, hostility, violence and aggression. But during almost three years now, you have seen a different life, without shooting and violence. People can move more freely and can attend public events, like this one, without fear of violence. For most people, living conditions have improved; their lives have become better thanks to the three years of ceasefire.

Peace event in St.Mary's Trinco
"Peace must be nurtured like a small plant in a garden. Like a plant needs water, sun and nutrition to sprout and thrive, peace needs justice and equal rights, trust and respect, development and prosperity, freedom and democracy, respect for Human Rights. The international community can aid and guide but it is only the people and institutions of Sri Lanka that can find the way to lasting peace and freedom. Students are the gardeners who must plant and cultivate the tree of peace.

"The peoples of Sri Lanka know the importance of education, - a view shared by all communities. Good education is important for each individual, but also for Sri Lanka. A lasting peace will bring investments and development activities. Younger generation can build this country and ensure development for all in such a situation," said SLMM Trincomalee head.

Peace event in St.Mary's Trinco
Band waiting for the guests
"You are people who will have to reconstruct and repair the damages inflicted on this community by the generations. You must correct the errors of the past. I hope to see many similar events when children and youngsters share activities and development mutual understanding, respect and friendship. You are the future of Sri Lanka," Mr Aadnanes told the students.

Rev.Sr.Theresa Ranee, speaking at the event said, "The youth of Trincomalee are learning to live with different ethnic groups and learning to accommodate one another, particularly during their schooling. Hence this is the opportune time to bring them together through music and dance."

"Peace is the immediate need of this country, earnestly sought after by people of all communities and music is the most suitable medium to achieve this. Music can easily bind together the hearts of people, irrespective of the differences existing among them," said Swami Atmagananandaji, Head of Sri Lanka's Ramakrishna Mission in Colombo in his message to the souvenir released at the event.

Peace event in St.Mary's Trinco

"It is ego that drives peace away. Once man divests himself of ego, greed and desires, peace shines within him with its natural radiance, for, it is within him and cannot be sought outside him," said North East Governor (retd) Major General Asoka Jayawardene in his message.


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